Pre-schoolers and school holidays don’t mix

Pre-schoolers and school holidays don't mix - Life on Wallace

School holidays are here. Before I had kids I figured school holidays were only important once your kids went to school. Not so, I tell you. Pre-schoolers and school holidays don’t mix, they are rough on mum’s of pre-school aged kids. No doubt parents of school kids are muttering ‘just you wait’! But here’s why the two don’t mix.

The usual activities stop

Our schedule is reasonably full with playgroup, swimming lessons and library story time. Come school holidays, those things come to a grinding halt. There goes the pre-established morning or afternoon activity. The outing that you rely on to break up the day, kill a few hours, is gone. Your poor weary brain has to come up with plan b. But plan b options are limited. Bringing me to my second point.

Kid friendly places are overrun with big kids

Once you resign yourself to coming up with plan b, you realise all the kid friendly alternates are packed with school kids. I know, they have every right to be at the local indoor play centre, park, pool, the library, zoo, aquarium, etc. The thing is crowds are tough on little kids and their parents who need to keep track of them. Little kids are often in awe of big kids. Rather than play, they watch on in wonder. Plus, all the ‘school holiday’ activities are firmly aimed at school aged kids, meaning they won’t work either. Play dates become the best option, but compared to rocking up to playgroup, that’s much more logistically challenging.

Parents of school kids flood social media

All of a sudden parents of school age kids start complaining about their kids fighting and bickering and the house being messy and noisy. There are count downs until school goes back, hashtags like #schoolholidaypsychosis pop up on social media and whingening about answering constant questions and hearing the dreaded ‘I’m bored’. Let’s be frank, I don’t mind parent’s complaining about their kids driving them bonkers. I get it, because that’s what it is like EVERY DAY when you have pre-school aged kids. We just don’t have the sanity saver of counting down the days until school goes back.

My eldest lad starts school next year. I’m kind of excited about it, having two kids to entertain on my non-work days will seem like a walk in the park. Maybe that means my dislike of school holidays will continue? Who knows! For now, I’ll look forward to school returning so our schedule can go back to normal.

School holidays, love them or hate them?

18 thoughts on “Pre-schoolers and school holidays don’t mix

  1. I’m a teacher – so I love them! And Miss M (2.5) still goes to CC for my two ‘work’ days since we’d have to pay for them anyway, and I have some rare and much needed quiet time to recharge (did I mention I’m 26 weeks pregnant as well!). The thing with being a teacher and having children of your own is that you’re never away from children all day long! Love the break of school holidays 🙂

    1. Oh wow Lauren, I could never be a teacher. I love kids and my kids especially but I do like going to work to get some down time from kids!

  2. I had no idea it was school hols until I saw you the other day. I guess these things go over one’s head when you only have a one-year-old! But playdates great 🙂 BTW we went to the sandpit again today… Charlie was charging around like he owned the place!

  3. I find school holidays are a mixed bag. I completely agree with you on the challenges faced by families with pre-schoolers, but since having my eldest in full time school and still having 3 preschoolers at home I find the hardest thing is handling their relationship with each other – they all get along so well at weekends and after school – but holidays seem to become a bit of a territory war! So, can’t go out, can’t stay in. In saying that, I actually mostly like school holidays because we take the opportunity to explore further afield, with no drop off and pick up times to constrain us we drive to further away parks, beaches and if its wet (gasp) McDonald soft serve cones!

    1. Excellent points Bec, but I admit that the thing that jumped out at me from your comment was FOUR kids. That’s got to be non-stop action with or without holidays!

  4. I remember this before my eldest started school. It felt a little bit like – oi get out of our favourite play spaces! Also, parents don’t look out for older kids like they do the littlies. Which is natural, but it’s not great when said older child is being an a*hole to your younger child. Now that I have one at school and one at home, holidays are fabulous – they get to play together all day. The bonus of no kids is you get to go away on proper hotel holiday whenever you want and not have to pay school holiday rates – take advantage of that whilst you can!

  5. Great points Claire. It’s my miss six’s first year in school and school holidays have been challenging as they clash with my busiest times at work. I was hoping to take some days off to spend with her but instead I’ve been farming her out here there and everywhere. Thank god for grandparents and holiday club! But my youngest has been loving having his big sis around which is lovely. Good luck with all the pre big school preparations! Xx

    1. Thanks Shannon, I must put the Kindy orientation dates on my calendar. My eldest will be at school before I know it!

  6. Totally with you on the outing thing. We avoid going to parks and such in school holidays because they are crazy! And despite the fact that my girls are starting to get to an age where they can explore and do more on their own without me hovering over them, I have to go back to hovering in school holidays because the big kids haven’t quite cottoned on to the smaller kids needing more care to be taken for them and that they need to watch out for them. Which isn’t their fault, they’re still kids themselves, but my youngest has been bowled over by too many big kids running full pelt through the playground and not seeing her that I just can’t be bothered dealing with the cuts & bruises and tears that always come when there are big kids crowding the parks.

    1. Oh yes Kylie, it’s a minefield at parks or play centres for little ones during school holidays. Not to mention the older kids aren’t generally closely supervised!

  7. I’d have to say I’m quite lucky in that when school holidays come my 4 year old still goes to kindergarten and I continue working. Come next year though when he’s in school (prep) and I’ll have a new baby, it’ll be a whole different story!

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